Science matters – The 2017
Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Awards


The 6th annual Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Awards recognized the achievements of researchers whose work demonstrate significant breakthroughs in fields where global health issues remain concerning. 


Five internationally recognized researchers have been rewarded at the 6th annual Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Awards on December 12 for their major contributions in the service of human health. This year, the awards focused on Immunology and on Microbiology & Infection. The aim of the awards is to recognize outstanding scientific achievement while also helping the laureates to further research that is essential to the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Elizabeth H. Blackburn, a distinguished Jury from the international scientific community selected the laureates. The outstanding quality of the 2017 applications prompted the Jury to nominate five laureates instead of the four that were initially going to be recognized.




Discover the 2017 Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Award Laureates


Fabrizia STAVRU
Field: Microbiology and infections
Permanent post-doc researcher at the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France)

Fabrizia Stavru was honored with the National Junior Award in the fields of microbiology and infections for her research on host-pathogen interactions and, more specifically, on the impact of bacterial infection on host cell mitochondria. Fabrizia Stavru has several objectives in moving forward with this research—to understand the mechanism of this unusual mitochondrial fragmentation process, to evaluate how mitochondrial function affects bacterial infection, and to study the ways in which intracellular tickborne bacteria interact with mitochondria during parasitic infection.




François LEULIER
Field: Microbiology
Research Director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Group Leader at the Institute of Functional Genomics of Lyon (France)

François Leulier received the National Junior Award in the field of microbiology for his research that has brought to light the positive impact of certain bacteria on growth in the context of chronic undernutrition. The work of François Leulier and his team have shown that these bacterial partners could potentially help subjects grapple with nutritional stress and chronic undernutrition in particular. In certain conditions, these bacterial partners could promote growth in young individuals, opening the door to new, more effective treatments to foster juvenile growth, particularly in countries affected by undernutrition.




Jeffrey I. GORDON
Field: Genome sciences
Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University School in Saint Louis (Missouri, USA), founder of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology.

Laureate of the International Award in the field of genome sciences, Jeffrey Gordon is considered the world’s leading expert on the human microbiome. He is known for his work on the role of microbiomes in the fight against obesity and childhood malnutrition. Work done by Jeffrey Gordon’s laboratory on the relationship between nutrition and the microbiome has shown the enormous potential of these microorganisms, setting the stage for the development of new microbiome-directed therapies in the fight against malnutrition.




Field: Immunology and cellular biology
Director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (Bellinzona, Switzerland) Professor of Immunology at the University of Lugano (Switzerland), Professor Emeritus at ETH Zürich (Switzerland).

Antonio Lanzavecchia was honored with the International Award in the fields of immunology and cellular biology for his groundbreaking work on the role of monoclonal antibodies in the fight against malaria. By highlighting the relationship between humans and pathogenic agents, Antonio Lanzavecchia’s work is significantly advancing our understanding of human immune defense mechanisms and opening promising new avenues in the search for new vaccines against old and emerging pathogens.




Field: Immunology and molecular microbiology
Zanvil A. Cohn and Ralph M. Steinman Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology at The Rockefeller University (New York, USA), Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Maryland, USA).

Michel Nussenzweig received the International Award in the fields of immunology for his work on the molecular aspects of adaptive and innate immune responses and his research on anti-HIV antibodies. By cloning antibodies from exceptional high responder individuals, Nussenzweig’s experiments established a new paradigm for developing antibody therapies, opening new horizons in the search of vaccines and therapies for infectious diseases. These recent discoveries could lead to innovative approaches in the fight against malaria, Ebola, Zika, and even dengue fever.



The Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Awards is a prestigious event on the international scientific calendar, drawing applications from researchers worldwide.


About the Institut Pasteur and the Institut Pasteur International Network

The Institut Pasteur, a private foundation with officially recognized charitable status set up by Louis Pasteur in 1887 and inaugurated on November 14th, 1888, has been, for the past 130 years, an internationally renowned center for biomedical research with a network of 33 institutes worldwide. In the pursuit of its mission to prevent and fight against diseases in France and throughout the world, the Institut Pasteur operates in four main areas: scientific and medical research, public health and health monitoring, teaching, and business development and technology transfer.

Sanofi has been working with the Institut Pasteur since 1976, and is proud to co-sponsor the Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Awards.


About Sanofi

Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.

With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.

Sanofi, Empowering Life

For more information on the Sanofi – Institut Pasteur Awards, see


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